Overcoming the Fear of Judgement as a Writer

Fear of Judgement

 

I write a couple of sentences and then delete them just as fast. They were horrible. No one will ever want to read this garbage. Why do I even bother trying to write? Maybe I’m not meant to be a writer, I have no talent.

 

If any of this sounds familiar to you, you aren’t alone. Every author that ever put pen to paper (or finger to key) has suffered writer’s block at one point or another. Even Ernest Hemingway would complain that he suffered writer’s block on a daily basis because of his feeling that his readers’ huge expectations were weighing on him.

 

The biggest cause of writer’s block

Most people don’t realize it, but writer’s block usually has nothing to do with the lack of creativity, or the lack of ability. Most of the time writer’s block is caused when we begin worrying that our writing won’t be good enough.

 

You begin to feel that you’re going to fail. The irony of it is, the more you need your writing to be amazing, the less it will be. The cure for this is to stop planning and worrying about being published and let your imagination take over to produce whatever it feels. Train yourself to believe that you’re writing only for yourself and no one else will ever see it.

 

By removing the pressure, and convincing yourself to not care so much about whether or not your writing is good enough, writing becomes fun again and your creativity begins to flow.

 

They’re more afraid of you then you are of them

Ok, it’s true, this statement is usually meant for when a vicious animal is snarling at you, but the same is true in this case as well. What makes you think that you’re the only person in the world afraid of being judged?

 

Everyone is afraid of being judged, however, some people are just better at hiding it than others are. So, you aren’t alone, everyone out there would be reacting the same way if they were in your shoes.

 

There are several big time authors out there that have said, after they have published their tenth bestseller or accepted another award, “I don’t deserve this, there are plenty of authors better than me out there.”

 

Ignore the haters

One of Mom’s famous sayings is still just as difficult to achieve, but it’s a very helpful suggestion. It may be true that one nasty review has a tendency to overshadow twenty compliments, however, for no other reason than keeping your sanity through life you owe it to yourself to learn to just ignore nasty remarks.

 

Learn from helpful criticism and learn from compliments as well, but nasty, unproductive comments serve no purpose, so just don’t even waste your time with them. Notice I said learn from helpful criticism. None of us are perfect and helpful criticism shouldn’t be considered a nasty comment or taken as a failure, but as a valuable lesson that you can use to improve yourself and your writing.

 

I truly hope these suggestions help you even a little. Most times it’s easier said than done, but if you can just learn to relax and write for yourself you will not only be a much more productive writer but a much happier and healthier one.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs including original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 15+ years of experience to work for you.

How to Become a Better Writer

Better Writer.jpeg

 

 

I could’ve easily titled this article, “How to Become a Great Writer”, however, being a great writer isn’t really relevant. And, you know, as well as I do, you need to walk before you can run. So, odds are my blog article most likely will not hold the secret to literary success.

 

It’s more important to be the best you can at whatever you do, especially writing. Anyone can write a book. If you have a good story, a good imagination and are great at editing, you are well on your way to being a great writer. I also don’t mean to imply that with these three abilities alone you will be a great writer.

 

Here are some tips I’ve put together to help you hone your skills and put you on the right track to becoming the best writer that you can be, which makes you a great writer to you.

 

You don’t need to write in any certain order

The most important thing to do is to write. You don’t need to write your story from beginning to end, in that specific order.

 

Obviously, a story is meant to be read from beginning to end. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be written that way. Go with what works for you, just write. If you have an idea for writing the middle of the book first, go for it.

 

Then fill in the other parts and chapters as they come to you, even if you write the ending next and then the beginning. Don’t hinder your artistic abilities with a regimented process.

 

Have two or more irons in the fire

In regards to writer’s block, it isn’t a bad idea to work on more than just one story at a time. Work on the one story until you hit a road block, then maybe you’ll have ideas for the second until you figure out how you want to proceed with the first. This way you are always working, always thinking, always creating.

 

Just Write

Don’t worry about mistakes while you’re writing, just write. If your word processor draws attention to misspelled words (a red line under errors), turn it off. It is much more important to get your thoughts down on paper (screen) than it is to edit the document as you go.

 

Even if you edit the content as you write it, you will still find more mistakes when you are doing your editing after you’re finished writing. Worrying about your grammar distracts your train of thought. It’s much more important to get all of your thoughts out, then having all your words spelled correctly.

 

Ask for, and welcome criticism

Toughen your skin, successful writers aren’t sissies, they are gladiators! Find yourself a professional writer or editor and ask them to look at your work with a critical eye. Watch out for friends and family because they will, most likely, not want to hurt your feelings, whether intentionally or not by telling you where your mistakes are and what you need to change.

 

No one is born with a silver pen in their hand, being a great writer takes time, perseverance and an education from the good old school of hard knocks.

 

I can guarantee that your first piece will not be a masterpiece, however, if you love to write and really want to tell your story, don’t give up. I can tell you this with authority because, as with most writers, I’m living proof of what I’m telling you.

 

You want someone to give it to you straight, no sugarcoating. Even if they need to be cruel, the important thing is that you get the point, make the changes and, most of all, learn from the mistakes.

 

Create your own workspace

You need a place where you can go that is all business, no TV, no radio, no one else. It’s trendy to take your laptop to a coffee shop and write. Being trendy isn’t going to get your book written.

 

It is much more important to have an area, or room that is all business. A place set aside for only writing and nothing else and your time spent there should only be used for writing. You need a place with a door to shut the world out for the amount of time you have to dedicate to your art.

 

Manage your time wisely

Set aside days and times to write and stick to them, just like any other job. To some, your writing time will be seen as “flexible time”, nothing could be further from the truth. When you decide on your writing time, it needs to be sacred and just as important as any other obligation you have in your life. Your writing time shouldn’t be negotiable.

 

By no stretch of the imagination are these six tips all you need to become a successful writer. Writing is hard work, don’t let anyone tell you any different. However, they will help to get you started on the right track and with patience, perseverance and a sense of purpose, you will become the best writer you can be. If you love to write it will come through on the pages.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs including original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 15+ years of experience to work for you.

A Thank You to My Followers

I have to admit, the title for this article “A Thank You to My Followers” sounds a bit, “how shall I say”, narcissistic. While writing it I immediately got a mental picture of me standing atop a grand balcony, my arms stretched out in an “English Queen” wave.

 

I’m looking down on the millions of my followers crowded into a courtyard just to be as near to me as possible. Somewhere in the distance the soft sounds of “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” are floating in on a soft spring breeze.

 

Too far, you say?

 

Yes, I do have a vivid imagination, however, I hope that made you laugh. I enjoy making people laugh because when they’re laughing, they don’t have time to think about harming their fellow man/woman.

 

My actual intent for this article is to thank all of the people who have taken time out of their hectic, busy life, just to read one of my articles. And if that weren’t enough, those who have found my content so engaging that they felt it necessary to join the conversation, I thank you.

 

You see, I’ve been a professional writer for over 10 years now. Even though I do this for a living, I am still humbled when I see people appreciating my work on my site.

 

Even though it’s my job to draw in as much traffic as I can for my clients’ site. I’m still humbled when people come to my site and “Like” an article here and there, and join a conversation because I presented my writing in a way that engaged them.

 

These are the people I want to offer a very sincere and humble, thank you.

 

I give the example of people taking time out of their busy day because I know what “Busy” means.

 

I’ve raised four children and tried desperately to hone my skills, so I could put food on the table. I’ve made mad dashes across town so the two of my children competing in a sport in those opposite destinations could say “Dad came and watched me play … “

 

At many stages of my life if I turned on a computer it was to work. I rarely, if ever, have time to read a site that has to do with one of my (non-existent) hobbies. So, I do understand “Busy” and that’s why I appreciate it when I see how my content, educates people, entertains people, makes people happy, makes them sad, but most of all makes people think.

 

Taking all of that into consideration, I am truly blessed. So thank you, my friends, my brothers and sisters, my readers, I do appreciate you taking the time to read my humble blog.

Email Marketing: Design and Deliverability Strategies

Email Marketing Design and Deliverability Strategies

 

Email marketers often focus only on the number of opens and clicks that come from email subscribers. They tend to forget about the conversions which are, of course, the most important. Purchases, registrations, reads, downloads, etc. will increase only if you have them set as a goal. It will be much easier to achieve the outcome you want, if you know exactly what you want your email subscribers to do after receiving your message, with the appropriate subject lines, call to action buttons, images, content and other email elements.

 

Subject lines

You should spend 80% of your time perfecting your subject line, call to action and headlines, and 20% writing copy. You need to create subject lines and call to action buttons with your email subscriber in mind.

 

Be very specific, relevant and useful to your customer. In this case, shorter is not always better, so replace the usual one-word call to action with something more specific in order to get your email subscribers to act on your emails.

 

Be visually unique, for example, make your subject line stand out visually and by trying square brackets, symbols, etc.

 

Use digits, action words and timely topics, for example, use an end date for a campaign to motivate email subscribers to react to the message right here and now.

 

Use a call to action by asking a question.

Make the call to action appropriate to where the email subscribers are at in the buying cycle.

 

Use the golden real estate effectively

When creating your email design, use the golden real estate wisely. The golden real estate is the upper left hand corner of a newsletter, because as we read in an F-shaped pattern, this is the place where attention is paid first of all. So don’t waste this space with images or logos. Leave it for text you directly call on your email recipients to act.

 

Pre-header

In some email programs, you are able to see the first phrase of a newsletter even before opening it. Usually the phrases in this area are “View this email in a browser”, “Show remote content” or other information that is at the top of the email.

 

However, you can use this pre-header for marketing reasons. If before opening the newsletter you saw “Hi, your name”, wouldn’t you be more likely to open it? Any personalization increases the likelihood your email subscribers will react to your emails.

 

Keep it simple

Don’t give your email recipients too many choices. The simpler a message, the easier it is for email subscribers to take action. Choose to have only one call to action instead of several. Also in regards to keeping it simple, use the “rule of 3”, which states you shouldn’t use more than three bullet points within email content. While the “rule of 2” says the two most important content elements are a heading and the first paragraph, so in this case, less is more.

 

Content evaluation

After you have established your targets and how they like to consume information, you need to know deliver the right kind of information to them. First and foremost, stop using emails to sell and start using them to teach. People love to learn and want content and information that is of value to them.

 

However, don’t give everything away in the email, draw them back to your site. Give them a small taste of the information that makes them want more, then direct them to a landing page.

 

Constantly test and optimize

Less than half of online retailers perform some sort of optimization in their email marketing campaigns.

 

It is best to set up goals, pay attention to details, benefit from any opportunity to effectively analyse and optimize campaigns. These are tips that every email marketer should follow closely to get email subscribers to act on your emails in the manner you need them to.

 

Email marketing can be a powerful tool. It doesn’t have to just be something you check off a list. When done right, you’ll notice more than just a higher open rate. You’ll see higher lead acquisition and conversion rates as well.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs. Including professional and original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 10+ years of experience to work for you.